Even after years of progress, there’s an unspoken expectation that women prioritize others’ needs over their own to be considered a “good woman.” And while it can feel good to help people, every time we unthinkingly say yes to our friend or partner or child or colleague because we think we should—without checking in with ourselves to see whether this is what we want—we’re reinforcing gendered norms of self-sacrifice. This isn’t to say that we should never choose to meet others’ needs instead of our own, but we want to do it as a conscious choice, after considering all possible options, not because we think we must be a good person. And when we recognize that a choice isn’t right for us, self-compassion demands that we honor our needs and do something else to meet our needs.
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